The current COVID-19 crisis currently causing worry and disruption to all our lives.  With the constantly evolving situation, there is already a dearth of information and advice flooding the internet.  Some of it may seem frightening or overwhelming, and some just irrelevant to our situation as horse breeders.  After the announcement on Monday, many of us were concerned about how we would manage the welfare of our horses, let alone cope with the breeding season which is, of course, now in full swing.  

British Breeding advise all breeders and the equestrian community to strictly adhere to the Government's directive to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to travel.  The welfare of horses and other livestock is still essential, so as an owner, employee or volunteer your travel to provide care is still valid under the current guidance.  Please keep your own health and safety in mind, as well as that of everyone around you, and observe the same strict biosecurity measures on yards as everywhere else.   

We have gathered some useful information and links that we feel will provide solid guidance for owners and breeders.  Some relevant points are:

  • The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) have a COVID-19 information page where you can access their latest updates and advice.  For their latest guidance, particularly with relevance to breeders, visit the BEVA website.
  • The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) also offers an advice and guidance page, and they are working with BEVA to provide guidance to vets.  For their latest information, including their recently published flow chart to help vets decide whether or not they should carry out a particular type of work, visit the RCVS website.
  • The Farriers Registration Council interpretation of the Government guidance is that Registered Farriers can continue to provide essential services to equines, and they should continue to attend to equines using their judgement as to matters of priority and/or urgency, and with some provisos concerning social distancing and cleaning of hands and tools.  More information can be found on the FRC website.
  • The British Equestrian federation have issued advice on caring for horses and riding in the current climate.  Detailed guidance on caring for your horse includes precautions to take if you need to travel to your horse to provide care, interaction with others around you and preparing for self-isolation.  They strongly recommend that there should be no unnecessary transporting of horses except for emergency care, and riding should be limited to low risk activity and should avoid activities that carry an increased risk of injury, such as jumping, fast work or riding a young, fresh or spooky horse.  Their full guidance notes are available on the BEF website.
  • The BEF have also provided some extremely useful advice and links for equestrian businesses, outlining the support available from Government.  Read the full BEF guidance for equestrian businesses.  

Please visit the useful links we have provided for further information.

UPDATED 14 APRIL 2020

Announcements

THE LATEST ADVICE UPDATES:

22 October

Wales lockdown advice from 6pm on Friday 23rd October

CLICK HERE for British Equestrian advice. 


1 June

All the home nations in Great Britain now have revised lockdown conditions, facilitating some increased activity with horses for participants, coaches and venues. In liaison with governments, sporting bodies and member bodies, British Equestrian can now release the following update on what’s now permitted as of 1 June. CLICK HERE


12 May 2020 - Announcement by the British Horse Society:

Important Update for Equestrian Centres and Coaches in England

Further to guidance for recreational sport and exercise from the Sport & Recreation Alliance and Sport England, the BHS is advising that riding schools, facility centres and livery yards in England may re-open from Wednesday 13th May 2020 whilst observing the current Government guidance in relation to social distancing. In addition there will be further Government guidance on hygiene and increased biosecurity for the resumption of sport which must be followed. This information will be made available on the gov.uk website in the coming days and we will share it once it has been made available.

To align with the latest Government guidelines that you may only exercise in groups of no more than two unless you are exclusively with members of your household, riding schools and freelance coaches are advised to provide lessons or coaching to individuals only, not to family groups. Please see the gov.uk Q&A for further information in this regard.

The Sport & Recreation Alliance has advised that it is for individual facilities and organisations to develop their own guidance on reopening, to best fit their own situation, in line with the Government's advice. The BHS will support centres by providing advice, guidance and risk assessment templates which will follow in order to help you re-open your business. 

The continuation of this advice and guidance is conditional based upon the criteria set by Government and is therefore subject to change.

This update is for England only. Our guidance from Monday 11th May remains unchanged for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Please continue to check in to the BHS COVID-19 Hub for further updates. 


11 May 2020 - This link outlines what you can and can't do following the PM's announcement on 10 May.  The governing bodies of equestrian sport are currently working with the Department of Culture Media and Sport to provide more specific advice on equestrian activities, and details will be posted here as soon as they are available. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

11 May 2020 - Following is the link which takes you to the page with the guides for a number of different business models, including factories, offices, working from vehicles (covering delivery drivers as well as vehicle based employees) and outdoor workers.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

You may need to consider more than one of these, but you will see that there is repetition across the different types of businesses referenced. There is within each of the documents a link across to an HSE risk assessment form with examples for a number of different business types albeit generic rather than covid specific.

There are also downloadable posters/statements for you to use to confirm that the risk assessment has been undertaken.


5 May 2020 - BEIS have just published the below note which will be of interest to those of you who fall into the Self Employed category.

Self-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus (COVID-19) support

HMRC are beginning to contact customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

You can check your eligibility using the new online checker tool. Once the online check is complete, those who are eligible will be given a date when they can submit their claim.

The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. The claims process will be very simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim. 

There is also further guidance available on ‘How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ and ‘How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’.


Competition Stallions is updating all stallion information for those stallions with any changes to availability during these uncertain times.  Visit their website for stallion details.

10 April - BEVA updated guidance for vets - BEVA Website

10 April - RCVS updated guidance for vets - RCVS Website

9 April - The latest guidance for employers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available here. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus. The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC have been working hard to develop this scheme and we expect it to be available by the end of April 2020.

7 April - Government Update on Social Distancing in the Workplace, including farms and outdoors

26 March - Government Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

26 March - Government Update on Coronavirus support for the Self Employed


Links to Government Advice Websites:

Government guidance for employers and businesses 

Information on Government support for businesses 

Government Business support website 


Equine Specific Advice:

British Horseracing Authority

British Equestrian Federation

British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA)

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

Farriers Registration Council

British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association

The British Horse Society


Other useful links:

World Horse Welfare

British Grooms Association

British Equestrian Employers Association

In cooperation with: